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Donna Manning: 39 Years and Counting


Forty years in business means a lot of things for SDHDA: loans, programs, success stories and changes. It also means 432 monthly financial reports and 36 audits, all involving Donna Manning. While SDHDA celebrates 40 years of accomplishments, Manning celebrates her 39th anniversary with SDHDA. "South Dakota Housing started in 1973. I started in July of 1974 as a secretary," Manning said.

During SDHDA's very first bond issue, Robert Hiatt, the executive director asked Manning to come and run the 10-key. Even though she had a broken shoulder, Manning was skillful and accurate, which impressed Hiatt.

In 1974, only two people worked in the finance department. Monthly financial reports took nearly all month to complete. In October of 1977 Hiatt found out she had some bookkeeping experience. Manning was promoted to the Bookkeeper/ Accountant position. And as they say, the rest is history. Manning remembers doing business on long ledger sheets of paper rather than on a computer. SDHDA only had two or three programs back then and their main focus was making homeownership loans.

Now the Senior Accountant, Manning works with six others in the finance department. She and the team work together, tackling the world of cash, financials and everything in between. While there isn't a specific year that stands out, Manning says a lot has changed. "What's changed in 40 years? The array of programs we now provide compared with when we started," reflected Manning. "And around 1982, the office got computers, which made things quicker in a big way."

What hasn't changed in 40 years? The mission. Since 1973 SDHDA has been dedicated to developing affordable housing for all South Dakotans. "I think it's very rewarding knowing we're helping people in the state of South Dakota," Manning stated. "If it wasn't for us, there are some people who wouldn't have achieved their dream of homeownership. It's nice seeing what we've evolved into."